letters from dickinson to elizabeth holland

To Mrs. J.G. Holland
From ED

October 1881

. . . I know you will live for our sake, dear, you would not be willing to for your own. That is they duty which saves. While we are trying for others, power of life comes back, very faint at first, like the new bird, but by and by its has wings.

How sweetly you have comforted me - the toil to comfort you, I hoped never would come. A sorrow on your sunny face is too dark a miracle - but how sweet that he rose in the morning - accompanied by the dawn. How lovely that he spoke with you, that memorial time! How gentle that he left the pang he had not time to feel! Bequest of darkness, yet of light, since unborne by him. "Where thou goest, we will go" - how mutual, how intimate! No solitude receives him, but neighborhood and friend.

Relieved forever of the loss of those that must have fled, but for his sweet haste. Knowing he could not spare them, he hurried like a boy from that unhappened sorrow. Death has mislaid his sting - the grave forgot his victory. Because the flake fell not on him, we will accept the drift, and wade where he is lain.

Do you remember the clover leaf? The little hand that plucked it will keep tight hold of mine.

Please give her love to Annie, and Kate, who also gave a father.


thomas johnson's note on letter 732 | index to dickinson/holland letters

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Last updated on January 17, 1999